When I moved into the house that I currently share with my life partner and stepcat, I decided that the spare bedroom would make an excellent home office for all the creating and writing and “business” things that I would probably be doing, eventually, as if moving into this house would turn me into a real adult instead of the cobbled together with crayon and construction paper fake adult that I pretend to be. With an inflated sense of ability, I set out to create the home office of my dreams.
I took ownership of my mom’s beautiful cherry desk that I imagined would imbue me with generations of creativity. She also gave me an oddly shaped antique chair with embroidered cushions that I fawned over for being unexpectedly comfortable. I bought a basic Ikea bookshelf in bright blue and artfully arranged my doodads and books, including such revered tomes as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Down The Rabbit Hole by former Hugh Hefner girlfriend Holly Madison.
I then proceeded to trash my home office with crap, crap, and more crap. And some literal trash. There’s a plastic bag full of trash on the desk.
This is not the home office of my dreams. This is the home office of my reality: a bunch of junk tentatively organized into haphazard piles, more junk randomly scattered on top, and the utter elimination of any possibility that work could get done in this space.
I still have dreams, you know. I dream that I’ll wake up one morning with clean skin and a clear head instead of yesterday’s makeup and a Benadryl hangover. I’ll wake up and know that I’ve finally become an adult, a real adult, and I’ll be organized and productive and not tempted to put on the same leggings I’ve worn for four days in a row. I’ll finally deserve a great home office.
For now, though, I’m sitting on the couch clicking through photos of all my fantasy home offices. Maybe if I wish hard enough my dream home office will simply appear without me having to do any work, at all, ever.
The dream: floating on a cloud of effortless feminine productivity, with a pop of graphic boldness to ground the zephyrs of creativity. I do not deserve this office.
If only I could sit in a Frank Gehry chair while I sketched, my art would materialize into intricate designs of modern yet delicate floral arrangements and streamlined geometric abstracts. The only things I sketch in my current chair are badly drawn cats, spaceships, and cats in spaceships.
Do you think the chair is as comfortable as it is pretty? How does this bookshelf system work? Like, how would you find a particular book if you can’t see the spine? Do productive, organized adults possess some kind of book psychic ability? Would I become psychic in this office? Because I would be up for that.
This is the blue bookshelf that my blue bookshelf will never be. I need that stupendous geometric rug, and I need that delicious chartreuse tray-on-a-stool, and I NEED THAT CLIPBOARD THAT SAYS “OKAY” AND I NEED IT NOW.
I’m noticing that all of my fantasy home offices have one thing in common: they do not have plastic bags full of garbage on the desks. Unlike my actual home office.
This is the home office of someone whose grandparents did a lot of farming and ranching to the point where they became millionaires, so they sent their children to fancy schools where they became business tycoons and married investment strategists and birthed a generation of over-financed under-motivated hipster entrepreneurs who love modern homesteading and Instagramming. I want this home office and the lifestyle attached to it.
Ultimately, I have to accept the fact that I will never have a gorgeous, perfectly organized, deliberately decorated home office because I’m not a gorgeous, perfectly organized, deliberately decorated person. I’m a pile of trash held together with glitter glue. Fine by me.